A petition organized by Uber against London's decision not to renew its operating license has gathered 500,000 signatures, little more than 24 hours after the decision was announced, a website monitoring its progress showed
The online petition was started on Friday after transport authorities in the British capital deemed Uber unfit to run a taxi service and stripped it of its license from next week.
The petition calls on London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who also acts as chairman of local regulator Transport for London, to reverse the decision to withdraw Uber’s license to operate ride-hailing services in the city.
Uber has turned to customers to help defend itself in other battles around the world.
In Friday’s announcement, TfL cited concerns about Uber’s approach to reporting serious criminal offences, background checks on drivers and software that could be used to block regulators from gaining full access to the app.
Uber to blame, says Mayor
The mayor says people angry about the decision by transit authorities to strip Uber of its license to operate in the city should blame the ride-hailing company itself.
Sadiq Khan said in a statement on Saturday that it would be wrong “to license Uber if there was any way this could pose a threat to Londoners' safety or security.”
Khan says: “I have every sympathy with Uber drivers and customers affected by this decision, but their anger really should be directed at Uber.”
Transport for London said Friday that it would not renew Uber’s license when it expires September 30, citing a lack of corporate responsibility.
Uber says it will appeal. It can keep operating pending the outcome.
Minister for London slams ‘blanket ban’
A British government minister has criticized the London authorities for deciding to strip Uber of its taxi licence, a major setback to the US technology firm that has become a big player in the city’s transport system.
“At the flick of a pen Sadiq Khan is threatening to put 40,000 people out of work and leave 3.5 million users of Uber stranded,” Greg Hands, the government minister for London, wrote on Twitter late on Friday.
He said Uber had to address safety concerns and it was important that there was a level playing field across the private hire market.
“But blanket ban will cause massive inconvenience to millions of Londoners, showing that the mayor is closed to business & innovation,” Hands tweeted. “Once again the actions of Labor leave ordinary working people (to) pay the price for it.”